Down home, you either move away and go to uni, and no one hears from you again, or you pretty much become a tradie.
Sam Page is a third-year mature-aged apprentice with Virtue Projects who got his start with a mate who himself had started his apprenticeship at the tender age of 16.
“Three of my mates that I grew up with, they all became chippies and one of them finished their trade and asked if I wanted to have a go. I used to help him out on weekends, doing a bit of labouring here and there on Saturdays with him. So, when he offered me the job, I figured it was a no-brainer and that carpentry was a pretty good line of work to get into.”
Sam admits that working with a buddy as an apprentice did have its moments and could be testing at times. The time did eventually come when his friend and boss didn’t have enough work to keep him on, but this wasn’t all bad for Sam, seeing it as a blessing that would give him an opportunity to instead work with someone who wasn’t a friend first.
“I still got my foot in the door with him, which was great. From there I worked with another two employers before joining Virtue Projects.”
Originally from Nowra and then Shoalhaven Heads, Sam is very much enjoying the experience of living in Sydney, despite some of the everyday challenges that come with living close to the city.
“I love it (living in Sydney). I love the lifestyle, where I’m at. Always meeting new people. It’s definitely been one of the better choices I have ever made. And working with these guys at Virtue Projects is pretty cool.”
Being a third-year apprentice, Sam has had the time and experience to figure out his own tastes and preferences in the carpentry field.
“I like all aspects of carpentry. I’m keen to learn everything. Even the annoying things that most people don’t like such as concreting or going up to the roof. These parts aren’t always enjoyable, but you need to know.”
“What I enjoy the most would be the less labour intensive things, like fix-out, when you are at the tail end of the job when everything is finally coming together. The kitchen is in, you can see the layout of the house a bit better than when it was just frames. Fix out is where everything is coming into place and you can see what you have already built and have an idea of how it is all going to look.”
Sam’s plan for the future is to first become a builder, and with more experience under his belt, eventually, have a go at being a project manager.
“I want to study construction management eventually. I don’t really want to be on the tools until I’m 60. I also want to have a backup plan if something does go wrong with me, like my back or something.”
Every builder knows the feeling of a bad back after many years of hard work. A backup plan doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all.
But no rush Sam, we think you’re pretty cool too. So, stick around for a while.